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Taylor Cole: Headed Toward Stardom

Many girls Taylor Cole’s age are worrying about their next semester of classes, the latest pink lipstick and perhaps, what Saturday night might bring in the way of fun. Twenty-year-old Cole, born and raised in Arlington, however, is concerned about the next day’s lines as the raven-haired ingénue of the WB Network’s newest dramatic hit, Summerland. In a business where time is money, she has to be her best during filming, so preparation is key. I recently caught up with Cole in between takes to see how this model-turned-actress is handling her new career, finds the perfect outfit for an L.A. party and about helping one of Paul Newman’s causes.

Lance Avery Morgan: OK, Taylor, I have to admit, you’ve become a star almost overnight. How did you land the really cool role like of Erika Spaulding in your series?

Taylor Cole: I was living in New York for about a year. When I moved out to L.A., I landed the spot as a Summerland guest star at first, and then they asked me to join the cast. I couldn’t believe it. How lucky am I?

LAM: Many people may not know that Summerland is a family affair. Literally. Tell me about that.

TC: That’s right. My stepfather, Shawn Christian, is a star on the series, and is so great work with because I can ask him stupid questions I can’t ask anyone else. In fact, the entire set is like a family. I learn something new every day, whether it is an attitude or even a smile. We have as much fun off the set as we do on it. We all hang out together – both the cast and crew.

LAM: I found out you’re also learning to surf for the show – can you hang ten yet?

TC: I’ve taken a couple of lessons down in Mexico – the waves are softer and nicer to me there. They don’t crash and make for a smoother, longer ride. The waves here on the beaches of L.A. are pretty rough, and the competition for room out there in the water with all the experienced surfers is fierce.

LAM: You’re also a gifted athlete – has that discipline helped you with juggling so many demands at a young age?

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TC: I hear people say its tough – I think it’s fun. Discipline is one of the reasons I can stay balanced, as well as being on time, and knowing my lines. I took karate as a kid and that definitely helped me have both balance and discipline.

LAM: You began by modeling all over the world: Italy, France, Germany, and Australia. What did you like best about modeling in those countries?

TC: I like new experiences. When I started modeling overseas, I was living with seven other models. As an only child it was kind of different for me, but it turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I learned to understand and love different cultures through my roommates. They were from places like Brazil, Russia, and Czechoslovakia. Some things you can’t be taught – they can only be experienced.

LAM: I hear you’re starred in the new Crest and Old Spice commercials in your spare time. Was that a fun time – do you have a lifetime supply of toothpaste and deodorant now?

TC: I do have a lot of hygienic commercials going on, don’t I! I better smell good after all that! I didn’t get a ton of products, but I was lucky I got those when I moved here and was taking my first acting classes.

LAM: Since we love our stylish Texas women, tell me how you define your style – favorite looks and designers.

TC: My favorite designers are Dolce & Gabbana and Roberto Cavalli. I like to look more than buy, though. I’m a big Jimmy Choo shoe girl and love to pair them with jeans and t-shirts. Eclectic looks – vintage tops with jeans work best for me, and I do not dress overtly sexy. I’ll wear an off the shoulder or back-showing top instead of showing cleavage.

LAM: Are clothes important to your role on the show?

TC: Our audience likes to tune in to see what’s new and hot. I think clothes help my character. I wear swimsuits often and they are usually string bikinis. Our stylists dry clean our bathing suits each day, so by the end of the episode’s shoot, it has shrunk quite a bit, which can be a challenge, as you can imagine. We also wear wetsuits called spring suits and the water is always freezing. It’s sometimes tough to say my lines without goose bumps.

LAM: Which are some of your favorite places to shop in L.A. these days when you are buying something for an event or a big night out?

TC: Actually, I love Yana K on Melrose Avenue. I just ran across it one day and I love their things because they are not overpriced. They can also do custom made items, ordered in different colors than what may be in the store. I also like to shop at Planet Blue in Malibu.

LAM: Are you involved with any charitable causes in L.A.?

TC: I became involved with the Painted Turtle Camp through my mom because she volunteers with them. It’s Paul Newman’s and it helps inspire children with life threatening illnesses to have a real life camp environment.

LAM: Which actresses can you most identify with?

TC: I can identify with Katie Holmes because she also started out as a model, then went on to TV, and then movies – I’d love to take that path. Of course, I love Julia Roberts – she’s so diverse and has the ideal career.

LAM: One last question. Are you dating anyone our readers may know?

TC: I wish! I always go out and do group things. My career keeps me really busy and right now it wouldn’t be fair to date any one person.